This month, it was reported that Trey Parker and Matt Stone are working on their next film. There aren't a lot of details known about this rumored upcoming project, but it's said to come from Oscar-winning producer Scott Rudin (No Country For Old Men), with whom Parker and Stone previously collaborated with on 1999's South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. It's also (at least tentatively) said to be titled Alma Junction, i.e. the name of Stone and Parker's hometown. Not much else is known — though it appears to be live-action and not animated — but if true, it'll serve as their first feature project since 2004's Team America: World Police, as well as possibly (if the reports are to be believed) the first movie Parker and Stone direct together. But as this intriguingly vague film gets reported, one must ask themselves a question: where's The Book of Mormon movie?
There is some very unconfirmed speculation that this mysterious Alma Junction project might be a secret movie adaptation of The Book of Mormon. It should be noted upfront that this information isn't from anyone involved with the project or from any official sources. That said, even if this new film isn't a disguised adaptation of the Tony-winning musical, there are several reasons why Trey Parker and Matt Stone should hopefully consider bringing their best-selling Broadway musical onto the big screen. In this article, we will list just a mere few. Though, of course, we like to believe it'll happen someday.
The Movie Will Finally Give Many Trey Parker & Matt Stone Fans A Chance To See The Book Of Mormon
Let's face it: Broadway tickets are expensive. While we're sure the production is worth the cost, these shows require many fans to spend damn near a fortune to see them. Not a lot of folks have that kind of cash lying around, including me. It's nearly as pricy to see the show on tour. Speaking from personal experience, tickets to see The Book of Mormon when it came to my city were somewhere in the ballpark of hundreds of dollars — and that was in the cheap seats! Suffice to say, it was out of my price range, despite how badly I wanted to see it. I'm sure many other Trey Parker and Matt Stone's fans (quite a few of whom are younger) haven't had a chance to see this hit show for similar reasons.
Therefore, a Book of Mormon movie would finally give these fans (as well as other musical lovers) their first chance to see the show for themselves. The cost would only be the price of admission at your local movie theater. Granted, movie tickets cost way too much these days, but it's definitely a whole lot cheaper. I know I'm not alone in wanting a chance to see what the fuss is about. Plus, we can't eat popcorn in a playhouse, but we can inside a movie theater.
*Having Trey Parker & Matt Stone Involved In Book Of Mormon's Movie Adaptation Pretty Much Guarantees It'll Be Done Right *
More often than not, movie adaptations of popular musicals find the material switching hands from one creator to another. Due to the medium change, different writers, directors, producers, and sometimes actors get involved. And the results, naturally, vary. Sometimes, a musical adaptation can capture what made the original production such a smash success. Other times, it does a massive disservice to what music fans adored about the original stage show. For instance, not to point fingers or pile on to its ever-growing misfortune, but this December's Cats wasn't a great transition — to say the least.
Thankfully, Trey Parker and Matt Stone have made their fair share of movies. Though they're best known for their animated work, most notably South Park, the creative duo has also made Cannibal: The Musical, Orgazmo, and Team America: World Police, in addition to 1999's Oscar-nominated South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. They are no strangers to moviemaking, and it should be noted that most of the movies they have made thus far have been musicals — directly or otherwise. Therefore, they'll certainly take careful care of their movie adaptation of their award-winning musical. If they were involved with the adaptation, it would almost guarantee that The Book Of Mormon would make a spectacular, successful transition onto the silver screen.
It'll Give Us A New R-Rated, Big-Budget Movie Musical, Which Are Often Rare
While R-rated movie musicals aren't unheard of, notably with movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Once, The Blues Brothers, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Repo! The Genetic Opera, to name a handful, they're increasingly rare as far as studio movies go. Though we got Rocketman last year, as well as A Star is Born the year prior (depending on whether you count that as a traditional musical), R-rated musicals outside of these few examples are slim nowadays.
The Book of Mormon: The Movie is not a musical for kids, so it may be safe to assume that the film would aim for an R rating, if not PG-13. If that were the case, it would, no doubt, be one of the biggest R-rated movie musicals since 2008's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street. Or ever, for that matter. Should The Book of Mormon make the transition to the silver screen, it would be one of the few R-rated movie musicals of the 21st century. That's certainly no small feat, and it would also serve as a rare R-rated, big-budget movie musical comedy.
A Book Of Mormon Movie Adaptation Would (Hopefully) Renew Interest In The Broadway Smash Hit Musical
When The Book of Mormon premiered on Broadway, it was an instant sensation. It won the Tony for Best Musical, among other accolades, and it got Trey Parker and Matt Stone even more critical and commercial success than before. But now that time has passed, the show hasn't quite reached the same heights. To be fair, the musical is still going strong, both in New York City and other touring productions. But it hasn't had the same cultural relevance, particularly as other hit musicals like Hamilton steal a bit of its popularity. Therefore, a movie adaptation could be a good step towards renewing interest and notice towards the beloved musical —both by reminding musical lovers why they enjoyed the show in the first place and winning over new fans as well.
These are just a few reasons why we're excited by the prospect of a Book of Mormon movie adaptation. But what do you think? Would you want to see Trey Parker and Matt Stone turn the smash-hit Broadway musical into a major motion picture? Or should they leave it for the stage? Let us know below.
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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